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Google announced Android Wear, its wearable device platform for smartwatches. Android Wear is a shrunken-down, watch-going version of KitKat that looks poised to take over the wearables market. After poring over tons of websites and digging around in the emulator, we've scraped together just about all the information that's out there, so if you want to know what the future of smartwatches looks like, read on.

At the top is a very faint "G" button. When pressed, the device starts listening for voice commands. If buttons aren't really your thing, an "OK Google" hotword will work, too. Below the button is a notification showing the time and weather. Tapping on the weather will expand it, and swiping left will open the extended forecast. Swiping up will show more notifications, one at a time.

Every UI element in Android Wear seems to work in this manner. Tapping on the center of the screen will expand whatever is on it; swiping horizontally will do something related to the current screen, either showing options or more details; and swiping up or down will go to other areas. If you're off in a menu, you don't have to swipe back to center in order to swipe up, either—just swipe up or down from anywhere in the menu to go to the next notification.

Voice input is pretty much the only option for a smartwatch, so naturally Android Wear has that built in. This means that things like instant messages, texts, and e-mails can be replied to as long as you are willing to speak your response. In the first picture, we have a Hangouts message on the home screen. Saying "reply" will start the voice recognizer, which, like Google Glass, will transcribe your speech and auto-send the message unless you stop it. A blue line travels around the circumference of the watch face to give you time to cancel the message. This part of the Android Wear interface is basically "Google Glass with color." Indeed, Android Wear seems like it has been heavily influenced by Google Glass.

The home screen seems to ambiently surface Google Now-style notifications all the time. To see just how crazy this is going to get, check out the second picture, where Android Wear detects that the user is dancing and offers to perform music recognition. That might sound like sci-fi, but Google actually added "Activity Recognition" to Android at Google I/O 2013. The current detected states are driving, biking, walking/running, and standing still, and all that information came only from a phone in a pocket. A wrist-mounted device is privy to a much greater range of movement, and the video suggests that Google has taken advantage of this fact and whipped up some dance recognition software. 

Doing this correctly—showing the right information at the right time—is going to be a big challenge for Android Wear. If the notifications are wrong, Wear will be really annoying. The best way to counter this is fine-grained user control over notifications, which we sincerely hope Google offers. Google mentioned vibrating the watch for only important notifications, which should help. Occasionally you'll look at your watch to check something and the home screen will be some kind of Google Now card, passively offering to help you do something. The third picture is the aftermath of the music recognition, which shows some album art.

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Post Sat, 22 Mar 2014 07:02:00
I like this wow it's like Siri on Apple iPhone
PostSat, 22 Mar 2014 14:34:51Reply(0)


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